REVIEWS, REVIEWS, REVIEWS!!
Tomorrow is official drop day (but we’re sure you can get your copy of WDKY today!)
Publishers Weekly review of What Doesn't Kill You:
When it rains, it pours for Tee Hodges, the spirited, stiff-upper-lipped protagonist of DeBerry and Grant's latest. Tee, the longtime right-hand woman of fragrance entrepreneur Olivia Markson, gets the shock of her life when, shortly after Olivia dies, Olivia's daughter pink-slips her. Even worse, the bad news hits just as Tee's putting the finishing touches on her daughter's elaborate wedding. Yet even when she finds her world swirling out of her grasp, she maintains the image that she has everything together. As her savings dwindle, her employment prospects look bleak, creditors begin calling, her parents explore the possibility of divorce and friends she trusted turn out to be less than supportive, Tee begins to trust her instincts, which sharpens her confidence in her entrepreneurial drive and leads her into the arms of a doting man.
This is the anti-pity party: snappy, fun and inspiring. (Jan.)
Date Reviewed: Dec 31, 2008
Thomasina (Tee) Hodges knew she was in for it when she woke up, the morning after her daughter’s wedding, in bed with the best man, her son-in-law's cousin. How did she get there? Well, it all started when she divorced her husband while her daughter Amber was a baby. Having to make a way for the two of them, she meets entrepreneur Olivia Markson and begins an employment association and friendship that would last until Olivia’s death. Because of their friendship and what Tee felt was a partnership, Tee thought the business would always be there, but Olivia’s daughter had other plans. Soon Tee finds herself unemployed, planning a lavish wedding and only probable prospects for the future. Hence, a night of too much champagne and dwindling hope has Tee reeling as she wakes up in bed with Ron.
Tee decides to hide the truth from her family and friends as long as she can and then doesn’t want to except any help. With her savings diminishing, creditors calling and facing possible bankruptcy, Tee reinvents herself using all that she has learned in the business world. As she does, she develops a tentative relationship with Ron that inspires her and could possibly be one of the best things to happen to her. Will she succeed? Or, will she fall prey to economic disaster?
In WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant have created a real life protagonist who has the resourcefulness and wit to deal with real world issues. This timely production teaches that though you’re down and out, you can still reach within to succeed in this world; it just may take a little work, a little planning and whole lot of faith to do so. This is my first DeBerry and Grant read and it most definitely will not be my last. I found the characters in this advance reading copy to be engaging, funny and inspirational. I absolutely love the writing style. This is a very good pick-me-up type of read for those who are going through bad economic times right now.
Reviewed by Brenda M. Lisbon of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
What Doesn't Kill You-Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant
What Doesn't Kill You Virginia DeBerry and Donna GrantTouchstone Books, Jan 2009, $24.95ISBN: 1416564209
Divorcee Tee Hodges has always been there for her employer of twenty-five years Olivia Markson at the sacrifice in some ways of her own life. She did what she had to insure that the Markson & Daughter “creams and lotions” empire remained strong and successful; although “Daughter” left the work to mother while living the good life in Europe. Her boss was her mentor and friend. So when Olivia dies, Tee grieves her loss as if a close relative past away.Tee is further stunned when Daughter decides to take control of the firm and fires her mom’s closest associates starting with Tee. Besides psychological shock, unemployment comes at a time when Tee is spending a fortune for her daughter’s upcoming wedding. Unable to obtain employment, Tee has no one to turn to as her parents have their own brouhaha, her daughter Amber has her upcoming wedding, and her friends no longer seem interested in her. Instead of wallowing in self pity, Tee decides to start a company of her own; not expecting her entrepreneurship will lead her to an admiring man.
WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU is an engaging character study starring a woman who instead of wallowing in self pity, thinks that’s life and death while scrutinizing her options until she comes up with a plan that gives her hope. Tee’s asides are insightful and make her human; for instance when commentating on her ex husband’s public display of generosity at their daughter’s wedding while he failed to kick in one cent for the wedding. Readers will root for Tee as she tries to find life after Olivia.